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Brahmagupta, Balabhadra, Pṛthūdaka and Al-Bīrūnī

Author(s): David Pingree

Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 103, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1983), pp. 353-
Published by: American Oriental Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/601457 .
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It is demonstrated in this paper that Prthildakasvdmin in the 860s, Utpala in the 960s, and
al-B-rdnTin the 1030s all used a now lost commentary on Brahmagupta's Brdhmasphutasid-
dhanta that was composed by Balabhadra in the eighth century, probably at Kanyakubja under
Yagovarman. Balabhadra's commentary was important for two reasons: its attention to physical
arguments in support of astronomical theory, and its citations from the lost siddhadntasof
LUtadeva and Visnucandra as well as from Aryabhata's AryabhatTya and Varahamihira's
Paicasiddhantikd. It is further shown that al-BirffnThas distorted Balabhadra's physical argu-
ments by interpreting them according to Peripatetic notions. The surviving verses quoted from
Balabhadra's commentary by Utpala and by Prthfldaka are edited in the footnotes.

IT HAS LONG BEEN RECOGNIZED that al-BWrudn's erences to the lost commentary composed by Balab-
knowledge of Sanskrit was not profound, howsoever hadra, probably at KUnyakubjain the eighth century,4
valuable his numerous citations from various works and to the partially extant commentary composed by
of Sanskrit literature might be.' The extent of his Prthudakasvdmin at Kuruksetra shortly before 864.
reliance upon his pandit-translator in his quotations Al-B-rdnTfirst knew of Brahmagupta's work through
from the lost eighth century Pauligasiddhdnta has its having been used by the unknown author of the
recently been demonstrated;2in this paper I wish to in- Mahdsiddhdnta (?) utilized between 771 and 790 by
vestigate his references to the Brahmasphutasiddhanta al-Fazdrt5 and Ya'qub ibn Tariq6 in their Arabic
written by Brahmagupta at Bhillamdla in 628,3 and in
particular to elucidate the relationship of these ref-
Philadelphia, 1981, 254b-257a. The edition of his Brahma-
sphutasiddhanta by S. Dvivedin, Benares, 1902, is far superior
to that by R. S. Sharma, 4 vols., New Delhi, 1966. The
On al-BirunT one should now consult E. S. Kennedy's present author is preparing a new edition of the text with
article in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 2, New Prthfadaka's commentary, an English translation, and a
York, 1970, pp. 147-158. On his knowledge of Sanskrit see commentary.
E. C. Sachau, Indo-arabische Studien zur Aussprache und 4 Balabhadra (CESS A4,
233b) is quoted by Prthildaka-
Geschichte des Indischen in der ersten HaIfte des XI Jahr- svfmin (CESS A4, 221b-222a) in his Vdsandbhdsyawhich
hunderts, Berlin 1888; S. K. Chatterji, "Al-Biruni and he wrote before 864, and himself cites, as we shall see below
Sanskrit,"Al-BTrinTCommemoration Volume, Calcutta 1951, (see fns. 57-60), a versefrom the eighth centuryPaulihasiddhanta.
pp. 83-100; and J. Gonda, "Remarks on al-Birfan'isQuota- It will also be seen (fn. 55) that Balabhadra gave the latitude
tions from Sanskrit Texts," ibid., pp. 111-1 18. Gonda finds of Kdnyakubja in his commentary. Both Pauliga and Bala-
al-B-rflnrs citations from purdnas more accurate than I find bhadra may have flourished during the long reign (ca. 725-
his quotations of Brahmagupta. See also D. Pingree, "Al- 750?) of Yagovarman of Kfinyakubja, who was himself a
BlrflnTs Knowledge of Sanskrit Astronomical Texts," The poet and who patronized Bhavabhflti and Vdkpatiraja, while
Scholar and the Saint, ed., P. Chelkowski, New York, 1975, Prthfidaka wrote under the Pratihara monarch, Bhoja
pp. 67-8 1. (ca. 836-885).
2 D. Pingree, "The Later Pauligasiddhdnta," Centaurus 14, s D. Pingree, "The Fragments of the Works of al-Fazarl,"
1969, 172-241. There are some additional fragments of Journal of Near Eastern Studies 29, 1970, 103-123; see esp.
Pauliga in al-BirunTs On Shadows. frs. Z1, Z2, Z5, Z12, Z16, S1, and S2.
3 On Brahmagupta see D. Pingree in Dictionary of Scientific 6 D. Pingree, "The Fragments of the Works of Ya'qtab ibn

Biography, vol. 2, New York, 1970, pp. 416-418, and Census Thriq, "Journal of Near Eastern Studies 27, 1968, 97-125;
of the Exact Sciences in Sanskrit (CESS), series A, vol. 4, see esp. frs. Zl, Z2, Z5, T7, T8, T9, TIO, K5, and K6.


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354 Journal of the American Oriental Society 103.2 (1983)

works which form the basis of the Sindhind tradition; sphutasiddhdnta. 14 And though al-B-riinT refers to
these were his only sources of his information when several other works by Balabhadra, most of them
he composed his On Transits.7 By 1030/31, when he
was writing the India8 and the Al-Qdniln al Masc'WI,9
his pandit had begun to translate the Pauliasiddhanta On p. 33 Utpala cites some more verses from Bhatta
and the Brahmasphutasiddhdnta with Balabhadra's Balabhadra:
commentary, though it is clear that of the latter he
knew only a small part.'0 By the time al-B-rilnT ujjayinitas tu gatf ya rekha daksinena lankfyfm/
composed the On Shadows" he had read more of the uttaratas tu sumeror jfleyf desfntarfkhyf sfi//
Paulistasiddhanta,and had access to Prthndakasvamin's svadesarekhfntarayojanfnfm
commentary on the Brdhmasphutasiddhdnta.2 Aside sastyf hatfnfim sphutabhuhrtfnfm/
from the references to Balabhadra in al-B-riinT'sIndia, jfieyah sa labdhya ghatikfdikfilo
unfortunately, we know of this important author di- desfntarfkhyah satatam svadege//
rectly only from some Mlokascited from his commen- carfirdhatatkalayutau gatfyfm
tary on the Brahmasphutasiddhdnta by Utpala on diva surfhe dinapfdivelf/
Brhatsamhitd 2'3 and by Prthiidaka on the Brdhma- rekhfidibhfige ca pare nisfyfim
kflena sesena mahendrarftrau//
rekhadibhfige tridivesaratrau
kfintaronas carakhandagesah/
7Tamhld al-mustaqarr li tahqiq ma'na al-mamarr, ed. as kfle nate tatksanadfvasese
part 3 of Rasd'il al-BfranT,Hyderabad, 1948; English trans- nyuine carfirdhe tu divfgate syft//
lation, by M. Saffouri and A. Ifram with a commentary by rekhfparfrdhe tu krtantarale
E. S. Kennedy, Beirut, 1959. Note that On Transits 27: 1-3 cardrdhakififbhyadhike dinasya/
indicates that al-BTrunT realized that Brahmagupta's R equals kfle prayate tridashfini velf
3270 (cf. al-FazdrTi'sfrs. Z12 and Z16), and that in On tadunitfyam ksanadfvasese /
Transits 28:8-10 and 29:5 al-BirfinTascribes to the Brahma-
siddhanta the parameters for the circumferences of the solar Cf BriahmasphutasiddhantaI, 34-38.
and lunar epicycles and the value of n found in the And on p. 34 he cites from Bhatta Balabhadra:
Paitamahasiddhdnta (see D. Pingree, "The Paitdmaha-
siddhanta of the Visnudharmottarapurana," Brahmavidvy prarambhakfiad dinapasya yate
31-32, 1967-68, 472-510, esp. III 6 and 10 on 479; cf. kfle yamaghne 'rthahrte tu labdhihl/
Ya'q0b fr. Z7 and fn. 59 below). sarfhatfi candrayutfdribhaktf
8 Kitab ft tahqrq md iP i-Hind, Hyderabad, 1958; English sesas tu horadhipatir dyupadeh//
translation by E. C. Sachau, 2 vols., London 1910.
9 Al-Qdnan al-Mas'cdL, 3 vols., Hyderabad, 1954-56. Cf Brahmasphutasiddhanta 13, 47.
10 India, ed. p. 119, trans. vol. 1, p. 154 (Pauliga fr. P 2). 14 For Prthudakasvamin's commentary I have used three

1Ifradal-maqal Thamr al-zilal, ed. as part 2 of RasiDil manuscripts: a copy of VVRI 1781 (VVRI was used by
al-Birini, Hyderabad, 1948; English translation and com- Sharma, though the gibberish that he prints can scarcely be
mentary by E. S. Kennedy, 2 vols., Aleppo, 1976. called an edition); 10 Sanskrit 2769; and a copy of BORI 339
12 On Shadows, p. 141:7. of 1879/80. Prthuidakaquotes from Balabhadra on Brahma-
Brhatsamhitavivrti, ed. S. Dvivedin, 2 vols., Benares sphutasiddhdnta 1, 22:
1895; repr. VdrinasT, 1968. On p. 26 are found these slokas
of Bhatta Balabhadra: khacatuskam s'arabdhyastinavagagagarendavah/
kalpe suaryodayajfieyfs ta eva ca kuvfisarah//
ravyamsabhogo 'horftrah saurag candramas tithih/
candranaksatrabhogag ca ndksatrah parikTrtitah// On 1, 23-24 he quotes four more slokas:
svasavano graharksanfm udayfd udayfvadhih/
naksatramane masah syft saptavimsativfsaraih// khacatuskam sar/irthisvivasusunyagarisvinah/
gesamanesu nirdisto mfsas trimraddinatmakah/ kalponarftrf vijfneyf nityam eva manisibhih//
isttah sarvesu manesu sama dvadasamasikah// saptasinyani vedastani9akarasilImukhah/
bhavanti masah savitra brahmenahna sadaiva tu//
7f: Brdhmasphutasiddhanta 1, 22-25, and Pauliga fr. P 14. pafncasunyani ramagninavapaficanisakarah/

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PINGREE: Brahmagupta, Balabhadra, Prthidaka and al-BTriinT 355

seem very doubtful. Once he speaks of "two famous 80017) learned of the iryabhatlya not only through
tantras by Aryabhata and Balabhadra."'5 But his Brahmagupta's criticisms, but more importantly
ignorance of Aryabhata's work is expressly confessed through Balabhadra's numerous quotations, which are
by him when he states that he knows him only through repeated by Prthtdakasvamin. Moreover, al-BTrUnT
Brahmagupta's references.'6 In fact, as we shall see, had a copy of the Aryabhatlya, with a commentary,
al-BirUnT(who knew something of the Aryabhatan which he cites as the work of Aryabhata of Kusuma-
tradition already through the ZTjal-Arjabhar of ca. pura, whom he mistakenly distinguishes from the
"elder Aryabhata."18 Such confusion leads one to
regard the assertion of the existence of a tantra of
Balabhadra as mere rumor, emanating from the gen-
kalpadhimasaka jfieya nityam eva vicaksanaih// erally unreliable pandit and unworthy of belief.
ginyasatkam ca gonandanavagvikharasendavah/ Similarly one must doubt that Balabhadra ever com-
kalpe candradinany ahur nityarn ganitaparagah// mented on Varahamihira's Brhaijataka'9 as Utpala
does not mention him in his Jagaccandrika.20 And
And on 1, 31 he quotes a long passage in sllokas: al-BTriinT'sinclusion of Balabhadra in the list of sam-
hitakaras2' may be due to a confusion with Bhadra-
ekonasastir astau ca dasa ceti raver gatih/ bahu, whose well-known samhita was written one or
khastagonandanandartusankhyah gesag ca tatparah/ / two centuries before al-BTrdnTslife-time.22 And al-
iyam eva gatir jfieya gagaiikasutagukrayoh/ BTrtinf'sconjecture that his Khandakhadyakataba is
bhaumajTvarkatanayagighroccanamtathaiva ca/ / by Balabhadra,23though he considers it a fact towards
khanavag59 catustrimras yamabana nigabhrtah/ the end of the India,24 must be questioned as Bala-
khartvastanavakharthendusankhyah gesag ca tatparah// bhadra is referred to by neither Prthudakasvamin25nor
candrarama rasayama vasupaksah kujasya tu/
dvipaficarasafinya5vipaksh gesag ca taparah//
arthabdhipaksa dagana jfia9Tghrasydstagonrpah//
vedatattvendukhanavasankhyah gesag ca tatparah.//
veda navartha nava ca gatir jTvasya kTrtita/ '7 Much of our available information about the ZA al-

paficagagonavaga5visankhyah gesag ca tatparah// Arjabhar is summarized in F. I. Haddad, E. S. Kennedy and

sitagTghrasyasannandah parvatah krtasagarah/ D. Pingree in The Book of the Reasons behind Astronomical
paksrthagnirasabdhTgasankhyah gesag ca tatparah/ / Tables, Delmar, N.Y., 1981, pp. 206-7 and 247.
arker dvau gaganam caiva <yama>paksa gatih smrta/ 18 Al-BlrUnT quotes from "Aryabhata of Kusumapura's"

dhrtisannandasaptastisankhyah gesag ca tatparah.// Kitab ft al-ntf (should one read al-nutfa ?) or Aryabhatlya:
rasah khaveda rqmqrtha9 candrasyoccagatih smrta /
gunastagorthagnivasucandrah gesag ca tatparah// 1. Ganitapada 2 in India, ed. p. 138, trans. vol. 1, p. 176.
candrapatasya dahana digag castqrnavqs tatha/ 2. Golapada 11 in India, ed. p. 203, trans. vol. 1, p. 246.
astartunavapaksartharasah gesag ca tatparah// 3. Golapada 17 in India, ed. p. 279, trans. vol. 1, p. 330.
gesanam tatparah gesah kramagag carkamandatah/ 4. Kalakriya 1 (the word vinad-T)in India, ed. p. 282,
khastakhartukrtah gesah sfuryoccasya tu tatparah./ / trans. vol. 1, p. 335.
bhaumoccasy~avidahanaginyavasvagvinah smrtah/ 5. Kalakriyd 8-9 in India, ed. p. 312, trans. vol. 1,
budhoccasyagvigailastapaficaramah prakTrtitah// pp. 370-371.
khastat.inyastavasavo jTvoccasya prakTrtitah/ The pseudo-quotation that he gives in India, ed. p. 269,
gukroccasya tu vasvastarasapaksarasah smrtah// trans. vol. 1, p. 316, is really from a commentary on the
rtvagninandadahanah sauroccasya prakTrtitah./ / Khandakhadyaka written after Prthfidaka'sof 864; see Pauliga
bhaumapatasya ca tatha daganartugaragvinahl // fr. P 25.
budhapatasya satcandraganyawuinyesavahsmrtah/ '9 India, ed. p. 122, trans. vol. 1, p. 158.
jivapatasya vasvasviganyasatkah prakTrtitah// 20
Ed. Bombay, 1864.
gukrapatasya vasvagvisaptarthavasavah smrtah/ 21 India, ed. p. 121, trans. vol. 1, p. 156.
saurapatasya vedartugunyasatpaficakah smrtah.// Ed. A. S. Gopani, Bombay, 1949; see CESS A4,
chedas tu tatparqgese sarvesdrmca nigadyate/ 285a-286a.
paficadevakhavasvagvinavaprfileyaragmayah // India, ed. p. 121, trans. vol. 1, p. 156.
' India, ed. p. 120, trans., vol. 1, p. 156. India, ed. p. 494, trans. vol. 2, p. 187.
16 India, ed. p. 311, trans. vol. 1, p. 370. 25
Ed. P. C. Sengupta, Calcutta, 1941.

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356 Journal of the American Oriental Society 103.2 (1983)

Utpala26 in their commentaries on the Khanda- Varahamihira's Paflcasiddhdntikd34 are taken from
khadyaka. We are sure, then of the authenticity only Balabhadra's commentary. Some of the same verses
of Balabhadra's commentary on the Briihmasphu- are cited by Utpala in his commentary on chapter 2 of
tasiddhanta. the Brhatsamhiti.35
If we now turn to examine al-BTrilnT'squotations d). al-BTrun! has a strong tendency to attribute
from chapter 21 of the Brahmasphutasiddhanta, which Aristotelian physical theories and Greek geometrical
was the first chapter in the recension of Balabhadra as proofs to what his pandit translated, thereby seriously
is indicated by the table of contents given in the distorting the Indian arguments.
India27 and which is also the first chapter in Prth&- Let us now examine the first few verses of chapter
dakasvamin's version, we are immediately struck by 21 of the Brahmasphutasiddhanta in conjunction with
four facts: Prthudaka's comments and al-BTrUnT's citations in the
a). the translation available to al-BTrUnTseldom India in order to test the validity of our impressions.
differentiates between the mala and tlka so that much In Brahmasphutasiddhinta 21, 1 Brahmagupta says
of the material in the commentary is ascribed to simply; "The motion of the planets and naksatras is
Brahmagupta;29 not the same everywhere for those standing on the
b). the explanations and quotations which al-BTrUnrs earth. Because this can be understood as resulting
pandit found in the commentary of Balabhadra we from (the earth's being) a sphere, therefore I shall call
still find in our manuscripts of Prthudakasvamin, it a sphere."
much of whose Vdsandbhasya, then, must have been In his commentary on this verse Prthudaka speaks
derived from Balabhadra;30 of the following matters:
c). all of al-BTrUnrscitations from the earlier Indian 1). The fact that the day and the night of the Devas
astronomers Aryabhata (save for some passages),3i on Mount Meru begin when the Sun is at the beginning
Latadeva,32 Visnucandra's Vasisthasiddhanta,33 and of Capricorn and Cancer, respectively.
2). The theory that the earth is darpanodara, "like
26 Ed. B. Chatterjee, 2 vols., Calcutta,
1970; see also D. a concave mirror."
Pingree, "The Beginning of Utpala's Commentary on the 3). The theory that there are alternately seas and
Khandakh&dyaka,"JAOS 93, 1973, 469-481. dvlpas surrounding the earth, each next one twice as
India, ed. pp. 119-120, trans. vol. 1, pp. 154-155. broad as its predecessor.
28 Unfortunately, in the manuscripts available to me the 4). The theory in the Jinagastra that there are two
beginning of the commentary is lost; but it is clear from Suns, two Moons, and fifty-four naksatras.
Prthudaka's introduction to his commentary on chapter 1 5). The fact that a man at Lanka and men at Meru
that he (presumably following Balabhadra) put Brahma- observe the same star in different directions, as do
sphutasiddhianta 1, 1-3 before 21. Cf. fn. 53 below. men at Yamakoti and Romaka.
29 This circumstance confirms that al-BlrUnTdid not per- Though al-BTrunTnowhere cites BrAhmasphutasid-
sonally inspect the Sanskrit manuscript, or, if he did, he was dhdnta 21, 1, he does paraphrase, and attribute to
so ignorant of Sanskrit that he could not distinguish the Brahmagupta, points 2, 3, and 5 of Prhudakasvdmin.36
poetic text from the prose explanation. This is also the Point 4, the Jaina theory, al-BTrUnT discusses (with
conlusion we reached in considering the Pauliiasiddhdnta. some misunderstandings) elsewhere in the India,37
30 This is, of course, the normal situation with regard to the having derived it from Brahmasphutasiddhinta 11, 3;
relation between earlier and later tdkdkaras;cf. our article but that Prthudaka did find it in Balabhadra is proved
cited in fn. 26. by Utpala's quotation from Varahamihira cited below.
3' The quotations that al-BTrunT makes directly from the
Aryabhatrya have been noted in fn. 18. His other sources,
besides Balabhadra, include the ZTjal-Arjabhar, especially in the latter half of the sixth century; the fragments are to be
the version of Aba al-Hasan al-AhwazT(cf. India, ed. p. 357, found ibid., vol. 1, pp. 10-12.
trans. vol. 2, p. 19), and Brahmagupta's criticisms of Arya- 34 I refer to the edition mentioned in fn. 32. Al-BirUni also
bhata (e.g., India, ed. pp. 311-312, trans. vol. 1, p. 370 found some Paicasiddhdntikd verses only in Utpala; e.g.,
[Pauliga fr. P 8]). Pahcasiddhantika 1, 9-10 is cited in India, ed. pp. 385-386,
32 The genuine fragments of Latadeva, who wrote in ca. trans. vol. 2, p. 51, from Utpala on Brhatsamhitd 2 (vol. 1,
505, are assembled in 0. Neugebauer and D. Pingree, The p. 30).
Pahcasiddhdntikii of Vardhamihira, 2 vols., K0benhavn 3 See below fns. 40 and 51.
1970-1971, vol. 1, pp. 14-15. 36 India, ed. pp. 222-223, trans. vol. 1, pp. 267-268.

3 Visnucandra wrote his recension of the Vasisthasiddhiinta 37 See fn. 69 below.

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PINGREE: Brahmagupta, Balabhadra, Prthadaka and al-BTrianT 357

Immediately after his citation from Brahmagupta (alias 4) Each of the spheres has a set of great and small
Balabhadraon Brahmasphulasiddhanta21, 1) al-BTrUnT circles used in astronomical computations.
cites the view of Aryabhata, Vasistha, and Ldta to the 5) At quadrants along the equator are the four
effect that the earth consists of the elements earth, cities Lanka, Romaka, Siddhapura, and YamakotT,
water, fire, and wind (Aryabhata) or earth, water, fire, while Meru is at the North Pole, Vadavdmukha at the
wind, and heaven (Vasistha and Lata), all of which South.
elements are spherical. The verses of Ladtcarya38and 6) An observor at Lanka sees the equator as his
the Vasisthasiddhanta39are cited by Prthudaka (from east-west line, one at a Pole sees it as his horizon.
Balabhadra)on Briihmasphutasiddhanta21, 3; in them, Al-BTrUnT at one point in the India4' correctly cites
of course, it is the earth, not the elements, that is Brahmagupta, adding from the commentary only a
spherical. In understanding these verses as describing reference to the fact that his order contradicts the
the elements as occupying spheres concentric with the traditional one. But again he understands Brahmagupta
center of the earth, al-BTrUnT is manifesting his general to be expressing Aristotelian views concerning spher-
tendency to force the Indian astronomers into the icity and circular motion; this can only in part be true
terms of Aristotelian physics. as Brahmagupta knows nothing of Aristotle's celestial
The verse of the Aryabhatlya (Golapada 12) that mechanics.
Prthudaka quotes concerns the terrestrial locations of But elsewhere42 al-BirUnTquotes, in part as from
Meru and Vadavamukha rather than the sphericity of Brahmagupta, a description of the Puranic cosmology
the elemental world. That is described by Aryabhata that came from Balabhadra'scommentary on Brahma-
in Golapada 6. And we find that Utpala in his com- sphutasiddhanta 21, 2, repeating some of what was
mentary on Brhatsamhita 240 quotes Brahmasphuta- said on 21, 1 as does Prthudaka. In this passage al-
siddhiinta 21, 2-3, and immediately follows this with BTrUnT is particularly concerned with Prthudaka's point
Golapada 6-7 and 11-12, the verse from the Vasistha- 2 against the flat earth and with his point 1 in the
siddhanta, and Varahamihira's Paicasiddhantikii 13, comment on Brahmasphutasiddhanta 21, 1. After a
6-8, wherein 13, 8 discusses the Jaina theory of statement that Brahmagupta cites Jina, whom al-
Prthudaka's point 4. It would appear, then, that Utpala BTrUnT(presumably through his pandit) mistakenly
has also drawn upon Balabhadra's commentary. identifies with Buddha, on the rectangular shape of
In Brahmasphutasiddhanta21, 2 Brahmaguptastates: Meru, mentioned, in fact, by Prthudaka on Brahma-
"The earth's sphere is surrounded by the orbits of the sphutasiddhanta 21, 1, al-Biru-ni proceeds to quote
Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and from Balabhadra a discussion of Meru that includes
Saturn, and (the universe) ends with the orbit of the the verse Golapada 11 which, as we have seen, was
constellations; it is shaped by the good and bad deeds one of the verses from the Jryabhatlya cited by
of creatures." Utpala from Balabhadra on Brahmasphutasiddhanta
Prthtdaka makes the following points in his com- 21, 2-3.
ment on this verse: The third verse of Brahmasphutasiddhanta21 reads:
1) Astronomers obtain the veracity of the sphericity "The sphere of the earth is in the heaven. The gods
of the universe with the stars rotating and the earth are on Meru, on the top of it, the Daityas at the
standing still by using the rules of mathematics. bottom. The two poles which are at the ends of the
2) The (Purdnic) theory of a flat earth with Meru axis of the constellations in the heaven are (respec-
in the center surrounded by concentric rings of dvTpas tively) above and below them."
and samudras is to be rejected because of the non- Prthuidaka'scommentary makes the following points,
existence of a sufficient magnitude of Meru to produce among others:
sunrises and sunsets, because of the varying altitudes 1). As, because of their natures, fire burns, wind
of the planets and stars in different places, because of sets in motion, water moistens, and not one of them
lunar eclipses (which are caused by the earth's shadow), has an instigator for its sphere of activity, so the earth
and because of the latitudinal motion of the Moon by nature bears and is not borne. Therefore, firm in
and the five star-planets. the heaven, it bears all.
3) The distances of the spheres can be computed in 2). The earth is below all things for several reasons,
yojanas. among which is the fact that, when students throw up
clods, they always are seen to return to earth.
Pahceasiddhiitika, vol. 1, p. 15, fn. 17.
39 Paficasiddhiintikii, vol. 1, p. 11, fn. 9 4' India, ed. p. 182, trans. vol. 1, pp. 223-224.
40 42
Vol. 1, pp. 55-56. India, ed. pp. 200-201, trans. vol. 1, pp. 243-244.

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358 Journal of the American Oriental Society 103.2 (1983)

3). Prthudaka cites the verses from Lata and that only hints at what al-BlruinTdiscusses in detail.
Vasistha and Golapada 12 which, as we have seen, in Not only does al-B-rilnTat whim rearrange the mate-
discussing Brahmasphutasiddhanta 21, 1, were quoted rial provided by his translator; he also misunderstands
by Balabhadra. it.
4). Prthtdaka further quotes from Varahamihira In Brahmasphutasiddhanta 21, 4-5 Brahmagupta
Paicasiddhantikii 13, 2-3, from Aryabhata Golapada describes the diurnal rotation of the heavens caused
7, and a verse from Latadeva,43all of which speak of by the pravaha wind. In his commentary on these
the earth being covered by natural features and verses Prthuidakaquotes from Varahamihira's Panica-
creatures. Pahcasiddhantika 13, 1-4 are cited by siddhdntikd 13, 5-6 (on 21, 4); from Aryabhata's
Utpala immediately prior to his quotation of Brihma- Aryabhatlya Golapada 10 (on 21, 4); and a verse from
sphulasiddhanta 21, 2-3, and of course we have already Pauliga48and another from Vasistha49(on 21, 4); and
noted that he quotes Golapdda 7. a verse from Lata50 (on 21, 5). And Utpala in his
5). The respective directions of Lanka, Romaka, commentary on the Brhatsamhita immediately follow-
Siddhapura, Yamakoti, Meru, and Vadavamukha from ing the passage cited above,5' quotes Varahamihira's
each other are discussed, and the situations of persons Paiicasiddhdntika 13, 5-34; Aryabhata's Golapada 9-
at intermediate longitudes and latitudes are described. 10; the verse of Paulisa quoted by Prthudaka; and
Al-BirUnTparaphrases Brahmasphutasiddhiinta 21, Brahmasphulasiddhanta 21, 4-5. Again it seems that
3 in the India," and continues with a repetition of both commentators are drawing on the same source,
Prthtdaka's points 1 and 2, a citation of Varahami- Balabhadra.
hira's Pafiasiddhintika 13, 2 from point 4, and a When we examine the India we find this conjecture
rephrasing of point 5, followed by the image of the confirmed. In one passage52al-BTru-nT quotes Brahma-
kadamba-blossoms taken from the verses of Aryabhata sphutasiddhanta 1, 3 with Balabhadra's commentary
Latadeva cited in point 4. His further quotation from (in Prthudaka's, and presumably Balabhadra'sversion,
Balabhadra concerning the theory of the so-called 1, 1-3 preceded 21; this section of Prthudaka's com-
Aptapurdnakara that the earth is like a tortoise's back mentary does not survive in our manuscripts),53fol-
is not found in Prthudaka. lowed by:
We have already seen that the verses from Lata and 1). A statement, attributed to Brahmagupta, about
Vasistha given in point 3 are included by al-BTrUnT in the equator as seen from the Poles; this is closely
his discussion of Brahmasphutasiddhiinta 21, 1. The related to a passage (in point 5) of Prthuidaka'scom-
extension of that discussion in the India45 includes mentary on Brahmasphutasiddhdnta 21, 3.
another reference to Paiicasiddhantika 13, 2; a state- 2). A paraphrase of BrAhmasphutasiddhanta21, 4.
ment that Aryabhata, Pauliga, Vasistha, and Lata 3). The analogy of a man looking at a reflection in
agree on the time-differences between Lanka, Romaka, the water, which is found in Prthudaka's commentary
Siddhapura, and Yamakoti (this statement is related on Brahmasphutasiddhanta 21, 4.
to Prthudaka's point 5, but also shows a knowledge 4). A discussion of the pravaha wind, attributed to
[perhaps Balabhadra's] of Brahmasphutasiddhanta 24, Brahmagupta "in another place," but actually based
2-346); an argument for the sphericity of the universe on Balabhadra's commentary on Brahmasphutasid-
based on the periodicity of eclipses that seems related dhanta 21, 4.
to part of PrthUdaka's point 2 on Brdhmasphuta- 5). A comparison of the planet's easterly motion
siddhdnta 21, 2; and a long quotation from Lata with the independent motion of a dust-atom on a
which corresponds to Briihmasphutasiddhanta 21, 5 potter's wheel. Al-BTruinT states that Lata, Aryabhata,
and its commentary, in which Prthtldaka, following
Balabhadra, does cite a verse from Lata,47though one
48 Pauliga fr. P 52.
49 Pahcasiddhintikd, vol. 1, p. 11, fn. 10.
43 Paficasiddhantika, vol. 1, p. 15, fn. 18. 50 See fn. 47.
44 India, ed. pp. 227-228, trans. vol. 1, pp. 272-273. ' Vol. 1, pp. 56-59.
45 India, ed. pp. 223-224, trans. vol. 1, pp. 268-269 (ef. 52India, ed. pp. 233-234, trans. vol. 1, pp. 279-280.
Pauliga fr. P 57). 5 See above fn. 28. From this same section of Balabhadra's
46 Cf.India, ed. p. 222, trans. vol. 1, pp. 266-267 (cf
commentary probably are derived India, ed. p. 310, trans.
Pauliga fr. P 53). vol. 1, pp. 368-369, and ed. p. 344, trans. vol. 2, pp. 4-5
47 Pahcasiddhiitikii, vol.
1, p. 15, fn. 20. (Pauliga fr. P 9).

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PINGREE: Brahmagupta, Balabhadra, Prthadaka and al-BTranT 359

and Vasistha agree with this, and then adds: "but followers of Aryabhata56 is found in Prthudaka's
some people think that the earth moves while the Sun commentary on Brahmasphulasiddhanta 21, 11. The
is resting." Clearly, al-BTrUnT has misunderstood Bala- next few verses, which continue Brahmagupta's dis-
bhadra's commentary, which first cited Pajicasid- cussion of the method of computating planetary
dhantikd 13, 6: "Others say: 'The earth, as if situated distances (Briihmasphutasiddhanta 21, 12-15), along
on a potter's wheel, revolves, not the constellations.' If with the commentary which contained actual com-
that were so, hawks and so on would not come back putations, is used in several places by al-BiriinT.
again to their abodes in the sky," and then quotes Once" he quotes Brahmagupta's theory that a min-
Aryabhata (Golapada 10), Paulisa (rather than Lata), ute in the orbit of the Moon contains 15 yojanas, and
and Vasistha on the diurnal rotation of the constel- notes Balabhadra's report of a computation of the
lations. diameter of its disc from an observation of the time
6). A statement about the direction of the diurnal required for its rising or setting; both elements are
rotation of the heavens as seen from each of the two found in Prthuidaka'scommentary on Brahmasphuta-
Poles. This is taken directly from Brdhmasphuta- siddhdnta 21, 11. In the same passage al-BTriinT
siddhanta 21, 4. proceeds with the actual computations of the planetary
In another passage of the India54al-BiriinTtalks of distances similar to those which Utpala in his com-
Aryabhata's theory of the diurnal rotation of the mentary on the Brhatsamhita performs in accordance
earth. Though he ascribes the discussion to Brahma- with the parameters of Paulisa,58though Utpala also
gupta, in fact his pandlit found it in Balabhadra. The cites Brahmasphutasiddhiinta 21, 10 and the last pada
relevant verse of Aryabhata (Golapada 9) is cited by of 21, 11. Finally, al-BTrUnT twice59 mentions Brahma-
Utpala, and Varahamihira'scounter-argument (Pafnca- gupta's use of V/10 as n in Brahmasphutasiddhinta
siddhantika 13, 6 c-d) appears in both Prthudaka 21, 15-a value that he derived from the Paiti-
and Utpala. Moreover, PrthUdaka attributes to mahasiddhanta of the Visnudharmottarapurana, and
"others" the argument about the earth's motion that which al-BTrUnT knew when he wrote the On Transits,
al-BiriinTassigns to the "followers of Aryabhata," and presumably from the ZTjal-Sindhind.60
includes a version of their refutation reported by al- The final section of this chapter utilized by al-
BTruinT. But al-BTruinl'sascription to Brahmagupta of BTrUnT is that on eclipses, Brahmasphutasiddhanta 21,
an "Aristotelian"argument against the diurnal rotation 32-43.61 Al-B-ruinTexpresses Brahmagupta's mean-
of the earth based on a theory of gravity is without ing very freely, and not always very accurately. His
basis; rather Balabhadra quoted Panicasiddhantika geometric proof is evidently taken from some com-
13, 7: "Another thing; if there were (a revolution) of the mentary as he indicates that there seems to be a gap in
earth (every) day, bees, geese, flags, and so on would the manuscript, but this commentary could not have
always be driven to the west; if it were moving slowly, been Balabhadra's as its method is Greek rather than
how would it revolve (once a day)?" This alone will Indian. I suspect one of al-BirUnT'spandits trying to
quotation from "Brahmagupta"(i.e.,
explain al-BiruinlT's make his translation of Brahmagupta intelligible to
Balabhadra): "On the contrary, if that (i.e., a slow his master. His reporting of Brahmagupta's criticism
rotation of the earth) were the case, the earth would of the astronomical explanation of eclipses contains
not vie in keeping an even and uniform pace with the both some of his characteristic expansions of his
minutes of heaven, the prdnas of the times." source's words and some material derived from Bala-
Let us now briefly survey the remainder of al- bhadra.
Biriin's citations from Brahmagupta and Balabhadra.
The next passage in Balabhadra's commentary of
which al-WrUnTi evinces a knowledge is that on Brahma- India, ed. p. 183, trans. vol. 1, pp. 224-225.
sphutasiddhanta 21, 10. For al-BTrunT55 reports that 57 India, ed. pp. 401-403, trans. vol. 2, pp. 70-71.
Balabhadra gives the latitude of Kanauj as 26;35?, that 58 Vol. 1, pp. 46-54 (Pauliga fr. P 59);
cf. India, ed.
of Thnlshar as 30;12?; Prthudaka on Brahmasphuta- pp. 404-405, trans. vol. 2, pp. 72-73 (Pauliga fr. P 61).
siddhanta 21, 10 says that the latitude of Kanyakubja 59 India, ed. p. 131, trans. vol. 1, p. 168,
and ed. p. 407,
is 26;35?. He also read the next verse, as his explana- trans. vol. 2, p. 74.
60 See above fn. 7.
tion of it and of the opinions of Vasistha and of the
61 Verses 32-34 in India, ed. pp.
407-409, trans. vol. 2,
54 India, ed. p. 231, trans. vol. 1, pp. 276-277. pp. 75-77; verses 37-43 in India, ed. pp. 435-436, trans.
5 India, ed. p. 280, trans. vol. 1, p. 317. vol. 2, pp. 110-111.

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360 Journal of the American Oriental Society 103.2 (1983)

Al-BTrUnThad also read from the Brahmasphuta- gives a translation of a single leaf,73 whose contents
siddhdnta chapters 1 and 11, and parts of 20 and 24 seem largely to be a commentary on the first verses;
when he wrote the India. From chapter 1 he cites and of chapter 24, he uses only verses 2-3.
verses 8-9 and 13 with Balabhadra's commentary on In conclusion, then, we can reconfirm our findings
verse 9, which was also used by Prthudaka;62 verses as set out at the beginning of this paper. Al-BiranT's
10 and 15-27;63 verses 11 and 12 with Balabhadra on pan.dits, on whom he seems to have relied completely
verse 28;64verses 29-30;65 verses 51-55;66 verse 61 with for his knowledge of the Brahmasphutasiddhanta as
Balabhadra's commentary;67 and verse 62.68 From he had for that of the Paulisasiddhiinta, seriously
chapter 11, the TantraparTksa,he quotes verses 3,69 misled him by not always indicating in their transla-
4,70 5,7' and 15-16.72 Of chapter 20, on meters, he tions what came from the mula and what from
Balabhadra's commentary. Further, al-BTrUnT seriously
distorted what they translated for him (which seems
62 India, ed. pp. 313-314, trans. vol. 1, pp. 372-374 (Pauliga to have been limited to the first chapters of the book
fr. P 7). and a few scattered passages from the interior) by
63 India, ed. pp. 352-353, trans. vol. 2, p. 16, and ed.
trying to read into it Aristotelian concepts of celestial
p. 493, trans. vol. 2, p. 186. Cf also, with the first of these, mechanics and terrestrial physics. But we have also
al-Blirdnrs TafhTm al-aw 'il sind'at al-tan/Tm, ed. R. R. seen that not only al-BirdnT,but also Prthudaka and
Wright, London, 1934, sect. 204. Utpala have relied extensively on Balabhadra's com-
India, ed. p. 324, trans. vol. 1, p. 386. mentary on the Briihmasphutasiddhanta. This lost
65 India, ed. pp. 361-362, trans. vol. 2, p. 24.
work, then, can now be better known than before.
India, ed. pp. 391-392, trans. vol. 2, pp. 59-60. And the edition of Prthtdaka's commentary will reveal
India, ed. pp. 352-353, trans. vol. 2, p. 16. to us many more Balabhadran passages, though they,
India, ed. pp. 316-317, trans. vol. 1, p. 376 (Pauliga fr. unfortunately, will be far more difficult to identify
P 6). than those discussed in this paper.
India, ed. pp. 412-413, trans. vol. 2, p. 82; ef above
fn. 37.
India, ed. p. 370, trans, vol. 2, p. 33; ef. Pauliga fr. P 13.
7' India, ed. pp. 311-312, trans. vol. 1, p. 370 (Pauliga fr. 73 India, ed. pp. 115-117, trans. vol. 1, pp. 147-150.
P 8). 74 See above fn. 46 and India, ed. p. 119, trans. vol. 1,
72 India, ed. pp. 131-132, trans. vol. 1, p. 168.
pp. 153-154.

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